Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

Cael and Graham have a really strange dichotomy to their relationship, although it’s one that I’m guessing is fairly common among brothers.  It seems that one minute, they are fighting over a toy, then almost immediately playing together and giggling endlessly.  Almost as quickly, however, they are back to wrestling and elbows are flying.  That’s been the flavor of the week; the desire to be friends and the just-as-strong desire to battle. 

Yesterday morning as we were wrapping up breakfast, Graham started whining.  (Oh, the whining!)  Since I was washing dishes and up to my elbows in soapy water, I asked Cael to “make Graham happy”.  Usually this means to give him a hug or a toy to distract him from whatever has upset him.  Today, however, he decided that he wanted to tell Graham a story.  Who am I to thwart his efforts?  Go for it, Cael! 

Bad choice.

“Graham, I’m going to tell you a story.  Okay.  One time there was a Graham, and he was a baby.  He peed on the floor and then Oscar bit him and he cried.  I picked up Graham and put him in the potty and flushed him down the potty and he was all gone.  And the potty was broken because he was too big to flush down the potty.  So there was no Graham and no potty and Oscar was sad.  But I was a good boy so I got to have cookies and I got to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”

And there’s sweet little Graham, smiling away because his big brother made up a story for him.  Clearly he doesn’t understand that Cael has already plotted his watery and untimely death.  I think that he—

 “And THEN!  There is a dragon and a BEAR!  The bear finds Graham but he can’t get him out of the potty so the dragon picks him up and flies away but his tail gets stuck and it makes him toot!  It’s really stinky, too.” (Laughing… still laughing.) “The bear says YUCK!  So he takes Graham and puts him in a bag and brings him back to Mommy, but she’s cooking, so the bear puts Graham in his bed but he doesn’t give him Barker because he’s still with the dragon.  (Barker is Graham’s stuffed best friend.)  Graham misses Barker and he cries and cries and cries FOREVER!”

So this was clearly a parenting misstep.  Sticks and stones, right? Lord only knows that it wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time I make a Mommy mistake.  Need evidence?

Once he heard that Barker was no longer available to him in this alternate universe of puppies and dragons and bears (oh my!), he started to become wise to the fact that this was NOT a happy story.  I love how he is still young enough that you can literally see him thinking; the expressions on his face show not only what he thinking but how he processes each situation.  Are you curious about the look on his face from the beginning of the story to the end?  Pretty much like this.  (These photos were taken last weekend, but I think they illustrate this story pretty well too…)

So how does a Mommy resolve this situation and avoid another parenting misstep?  My first instinct was a timeout or some other option to get Cael away from Graham, who was still wailing in the background.  I was caught in my tracks, however, by Cael’s response.

“Mommy, I DID IT!”

“You did what, Cael?”

“I made Graham stop whining.”

That you did, Cael.  What more is there to say?


  1. that video is BRILLIANT!

  2. Thank you! I have enough crying photos and accidents on video to fill an album. Probably makes me a bad mom. :)


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.